This week at Fluxaxis we’ve been experimenting with generative design using Autodesk Inventor. Generative design is design through mathematical algorithms in order to find the most efficient way to distribute a load. You enter your constraints (areas that cannot move or be changed), then enter your working loads (e.g. how much the model has to carry/hold). And after a short processing run, your computer will calculate the most appropriate structural form to provide the performance requirements with the minimum material and, thus, save weight.
This in an incredibly useful tool for engineering purposes as it can be used to optimise supports, brackets and any shape that must take a load. A few minutes of processing time can reduce the weight of your model by as much as 70% and optimise its structure to make it perfect for the job. This can save precious time in the workshop as well as saving money on materials.
As a 3D printing bureau, we can use this technology to optimise models and reduce unnecessary material usage, therefore reducing cost. All while retaining the strength required to accomplish the products goal. And thanks to our new printing technologies (e.g. HP’s Jet Fusion) we can easily print any manner of complex design created from this process.
This technology has also helped us push the limits of printable model complexity. Some of the designs created by this process have incredibly ornate features with shapes that may not have been cost effective, or even technically possible, through casting or subtractive manufacturing processes, such as CNC machining. Our HP Jet Fusion technology excels at producing highly complex forms. It can take these complex shapes and make them with ease: no support material, no mess; whilst achieving industry leading accuracy and material properties.
Here at Fluxaxis, we believe that developing a greater understanding of 3D printing and 3D design is key to providing you, the customer, with up-to-date information and the best service the industry has to offer. With this added knowledge in our arsenal, we are well equipped to meet any 3D printing need you may have.